March 11, 2020

Spring Training Clubhouses Closed To Media, As COVID-19 Declared A Pandemic

On Wednesday morning, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. WHO Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said his organization is "deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity" of the outbreak.

More than 125,000 people have tested positive for the virus, with 4,607 deaths. In the United States, 25 of the 32 reported deaths have occurred in Washington State, where public gatherings of more than 250 people have been banned. A similar ban is in effect in San Francisco.

Major League Baseball has barred the media from all spring training clubhouses, citing the need to limit or avoid "close contact" (defined as within six feet, for ten or more minutes). MLB stated its "current intention is to play spring training and regular-season games as scheduled", but with Opening Day only two weeks away, the Commissioner's office is looking into alternative sites for regular-season games, as opposed to playing in empty stadiums. Jarred Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes:
Teams could play at other MLB stadiums in cities less affected by the crisis, when its primary tenant is on the road. They could stay at their spring training facilities in Arizona or Florida and stage regular-season contests there, since those places are experienced at hosting major-league games. Baseball has even received outreach from outside parties with facilities large enough to host MLB teams if they can't play at home.
This is a public health crisis, but the White House has ordered federal health officials to treat top-level meetings as classified information.

In January, Trump said there was one sick person in Washington. "We have it under control." He claimed late last month that "within a couple of days [the number of people infected] is going to be down to close to zero". Instead, that ominous number has grown from 15 (two weeks ago) to 111 (one week ago) to 1,039 (today).

And the Very Stable Genius has admitted he would like to manipulate the data since he will look better if it appears that fewer people are sick. So, yeah, keeping the public in the dark will work out fine, believe me.


allan said...

Wednesday afternoon:
Jim Acosta (CNN): "What do you say to Americans who are concerned that you're not taking this seriously enough and that some of your statements don't match what your health experts are saying?"
Donald Trump: "That's CNN. Fake news."

Wednesday afternoon (one hour later):
Trump (Twitter): "The Media should view this as a time of unity and strength. We have a common enemy ... the CoronaVirus. We must beat it as quickly and safely as possible. There is nothing more important to me ..."

(March 1: "People are disgusted and embarrassed by the Fake News Media, as headed by the @nytimes, @washingtonpost, @comcast & MSDNC, @ABC, @CBSNews and more. They no longer believe what they see and read, and for good reason. Fake News is, indeed, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!")

GK said...

Moron-in-chief, it is always about him. Testing needs to stay ahead of infections, so if it is not affecting them social pressure will help them slef isolate, and reduce risks to people with underlying conditions. They are rationing tests.

Community transmission, that is the word . Virus out in the open infecting unsuspecting people. Westchester county, NY, one person who got it with no travel history, has seeded a infections for more than 100 people. Poor man, struggling for his life, but no one knows how he got it. No seems to care about it, but potentially many more hidden infections in the area.

johngoldfine said...

Can't we assume that whatever the stupidest, greediest, most short-sighted course is...that is the one MLB will opt for?

allan said...

Can't we assume that whatever the stupidest, greediest, most short-sighted course is...that is the one MLB will opt for?

But of course.

We just cancelled a trip to Oregon and California scheduled for next month. It seemed wise. In terms of testing, the US has not even really started (only 5,000 so far?). And since people can transmit the disease before they show symptoms, who knows how many people are being affected?

It's scary when a virus that anyone can get is out of control and the people in charge are so obviously doing nothing about it (except saying it doesn't really exist or it's only a plot to make His Majesty look bad).